The Penguins scored on themselves this week in the third period against Arizona while awaiting a touch up for a delayed penalty. It was a moment instantly burned into the memory of all for one of the more weird, embarrassing, unfortunate, (you pick the adjective) moments in NHL history.
Turns out that things only got worse from there. Scouting the Refs noticed that the referees handled things improperly after the goal. Hey, in that strange situation they didn’t know how to handle it any more than the Pens did.
While the Pens' mistake on their own goal vs. the Coyotes was bad, many overlooked the officials' mistake on what happened next and how it made things even worse for the Penguins: https://t.co/YqGese8E1e— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) January 27, 2024
Pittsburgh was skating shorthanded against the Coyotes when a delayed penalty was called on Arizona. As the Pens had possession, they pulled goaltender Tristan Jarry for an extra skater.
Defensman Kris Letang circled back into his own zone. He moved the puck to Evgeni Malkin who misplayed it, deflecting the puck into his own net.
It was ugly, but it counted. The goal was scored as a power play marker credited to Arizona’s Lawson Crouse – the last opposing player to touch the puck.
hat wasn’t the problem, though. The issue is what happened next.
With the goal scored on the power play, the penalty to Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jansen Harkins should’ve been immediately terminated. The delayed call – to Coyotes forward Jason Zucker for hooking – would be assessed at the time of the goal, since that was the reason for the stoppage in play. Simple.
That’s not what happened.
Instead, Harkins stayed in the box. That’s right – the Coyotes scored a power play goal, yet Harkins continued to serve time. Zucker went to the box as well, putting the teams at 4-on-4 for 48 seconds.
The Penguins did end up with a power play, but for only 1:12 — not the full two minutes they deserved on this play.
Referees Peter MacDougall and Michael Markovic missed it. The penalty box attendant missed it. The timekeeper missed it. The league didn’t buzz down to correct the call. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan dropped the ball on getting his guy out. Heck, even Harkins missed the fact that his team gave up a goal while shorthanded and he was still stuck in the box.
Unfortunately, it looked like everyone simply saw five skaters out there for each team at the time of the whistle, thought it was even strength, and just dropped the puck to play on.
I think this only makes the legend grow for how disorienting a moment this was in NHL history that after it happened no one really figured out what to do next. As if a giant stunned bomb just dropped on all the players, coaches, refs, off-ice officials, all of them.
That ignominious goal put Arizona up 4-2. Given the state of the Penguins’ shoddy power play, it is easy to declare the extra 48 seconds would in no way, shape or form have actually benefited the Penguins. They were finished at that point no matter what.
This little wrinkle about what happened after the goal won’t get as much attention or live on as much as the act itself, but it’s interesting and in a perverse way a bit humorous that such a wildly bad event ended up throwing everyone out of the loop.